Ryan Phillippe‘s ex-girlfriend Elsie Hewitt has filed a $1-million civil lawsuit against the actor, claiming he physically assaulted her while they were in a relationship.
The 21-year-old model says the abuse took place in the early-morning hours of Independence Day of this year, when Phillippe, 43, allegedly kicked her, punched her, then threw her down the stairs.
Hewitt filed the lawsuit on Monday. The couple dated for approximately three months.
In the court documents (which can be viewed at the above link), Hewitt claims that on July 3, Phillippe left a party they both attended after he allegedly felt “ignored” by Hewitt.
She says she went to Phillippe’s house early on July 4 and that’s when the physical altercation happened.
Hewitt claims that Phillippe was “repeatedly abusing a panoply of legal and illegal drugs” while they were together, including steroids, “magic” mushrooms, cocaine and other narcotics. In conjunction with the drugs, she says he was also abusing alcohol at this time.
The model supplied multiple photos to People magazine that allegedly display the injuries she sustained during the attack. She said she suffered chest wall pain, abrasions and severe bruising.
Through a representative’s statement, Phillippe denied the charges outright on Tuesday.
“As a staunch advocate for the health, well-being and equality of women, Ryan is completely devastated that these false allegations have been made and circulated,” read the statement. “Domestic violence is an incredibly serious issue and fabricated and proven false claims should not be used to unjustly slander the falsely accused. The claims are false.”
In response, Hewitt’s representative dismissed his claims of innocence.
“The only thing Phillipe’s PR statement has right is the fact that domestic violence is a serious issue,” it reads. “The claim that he didn’t assault her is laughable. He must think the media are a bunch of fools.”
“She has photos of the serious cuts and bruises she suffered as a result of the assault. She has hospital records documenting her injuries,” continues the statement. “The police took a report of the assault and issued a restraining order. Her employer Paul Marciano at Guess can confirm her injuries as can her friend who witnessed the assault. Add to this any man who calls a woman a c*** has serious animus towards women in general and would not be one championing the equality of women.”
Hewitt’s lawyer, Keith Fink, rejected any notion that Hewitt is just looking for money and attention, saying that she’s seeking to bring domestic violence issues to the forefront. Should she win, she plans to donate the money to a domestic violence charity, he said.
Fink continued, saying his client was famous in her own right, while Phillippe was “just married to a famous person.” [Phillippe’s ex-wife is actor Reese Witherspoon.]
The Los Angeles Police Department confirmed that officers filed a report of the alleged attack and Hewitt was granted an emergency protective order, which has since expired. The report was forwarded to the Los Angeles City Attorney, who has not yet affirmed whether they will move forward with criminal charges.
If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, the Government of Canada has a site full of resources to help you.